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Re: Liberty Science Center begs Jersey City for $2.5M - Fulop: 'Bailout' by city would set bad prece
#1
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Why on earth did they just double the size of the place? They should fire those in charge!


I agree that the museum should go through a reorganization of some kind.

Unfortunately, this isn't a time when it's easy to finance a reorganization.

Posted on: 2008/11/25 18:35
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Re: Liberty Science Center begs Jersey City for $2.5M - Fulop: 'Bailout' by city would set bad prece
#2
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I hope the city and the state figure out a way to save the museum. Children really love that place.

Posted on: 2008/11/25 17:47
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Re:Jersey City Reporter article 7/22/06
#3
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Quote:

ezola wrote:

You mean: corner of Barrow and Paulmier Place. ... It appears that some of young dealers and gang bangers have recently moved from Wayne Street to that corner.


Congratulations. Sorry the dealers found a place to move to, but just the fact that they were forced to move even a little bit is something.

Maybe if they know the fear of the neighborhood watch people, they'll at least try to keep their operation as low key as possible.

Posted on: 2008/11/25 5:30
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Re: GANGS? -- 5 Dickinson High students charged after battling cops -- LUNCHTIME TURMOIL
#4
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Today, the Jersey Journal is reporting that a gang that helped start the fight is the Summit gang, which is made up of kids expelled from Dickinson.

Posted on: 2008/11/19 17:21
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Re: GANGS? -- 5 Dickinson High students charged after battling cops -- LUNCHTIME TURMOIL
#5
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Quote:

Red-Deutsch wrote:
If you guys want to keep your head buried in the sand, well, that's your perogative. Just don't complain when you get mugged, find yourself in the wrong area, or in the crossfire.


Honestly, I'm just enjoying seeing people who usually trash me trash one another.

Anyhow: do you know enough about how the gangs work in Jersey City to know whether the Dickinson problems are the result of ordinary dumb kid gangs, or hardcore Crips/Bloods/Latin Kings sorts of gangs?

If the latter: would you have any thoughts on which of the hardcore gangs are active at Dickinson? Are there any signs you look for to figure out who's who?

Posted on: 2008/11/19 6:19
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Re: Fulop says Housing Authority director should be stripped of position (over Montgomery Gardens)
#6
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Quote:

Lafayette wrote:
Why didn't the developer of the beacon create some affordable condos for low income since he is receiving tax abatements?


I think that one issue is that there isn't a big pool of affluent retirees and affluent ladies who lunch living here.

Most of us who are supposedly affluent feel pretty poor ourselves and have no time whatsoever.

But, anyhow, a lot of us live pretty close to the Villa Bourinquen apartments on Marin and barely notice that those apartments are there, except to be grateful that the streetlights there work. Even the drug dealers there seem to be under control.

Anyhow, how much does it cost to run the Bourinquen development compared with Montgomery Gardens? Is it astronomically expensive and pie in the sky-ish, or is there any way to apply what the folks at the Bourinquen development know to help the folks in the Montgomery Gardens project?

Posted on: 2008/11/16 4:53
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Re: Nine units in Metropolis Towers up for IRS auction Nov. 13
#7
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Quote:

sporkster wrote:

Alb, where are you getting your figures from?


30k for a single person in Downtown JC sounds really low to me. Don't forget that JC is a huge city, so the "average" income also includes a lot of poverty-stricken areas, which pulls down the overall average. I'd say 50k for a fairly young, single Downtown resident with an average education and job sounds more probable.[/quote]

Short answer:

Thanks for discussing this in a mellow way.

Anyhow, your income estimate sounds reasonable to me.

In a good economy, in which workers making a steady $50,000 a year know they can easily find new jobs, then maybe spending 30 percent of income -- $1,250 per month -- on housing would be reasonable.

In a crummy economy, in which workers have to save more because they're more likely to be unemployed, I think workers earning $50,000 a year should only be spending 25 precent of income -- about $1,040 per month -- on housing.

So, assuming that your income estimate is correct, a Metropolis Towers studio is not as overpriced as I was suggesting, but it's still pretty expensive relative to what a lot of ordinary Manhattan office workers can really afford.

That means that the other nearby high-rise condos are way, way, way out of the price range of the typical Manhattan office worker.


Appendix:

- Apology for existence: I'm just trying to keep up my end of the conversation, not trying to say that I'm necessarily correct. One obvious counterargument is that, until recently, someone has been renting and buying a lot of very expensive housing here. Maybe there are actually a lot of people here making $250,000 per year.

- Data: Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get really up-to-date ZIP code area income data through the Web.

The 2000 Census fact sheet is all I could find.

Census Bureau 07302 Fact Sheet

According to the fact sheet, 1999 median per capita 07302 income was about $29,000, and median household income was about $47,000.

The median housing cost for someone with a mortgage was about $1,700.

If you click to "see more" housing characteristics data, you come to a page that says the average rent for households that rented was about $800.

The median ratio of rent to household income was about 25% to 29%.

I don't know how much rents have increased since 2000, or how much typical incomes have increased. My gut feeling is that the typical income has increased about 30% and the typical housing cost has doubled.

One interesting thing is to compare the 07302 stats with the Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, stats:

Main 2000 Census Bureau Cobble Hill Fact Sheet page

Census Bureau 11201 Fact Sheet housing characteristics page

In 2000, the median rent in Cobble Hill was $822 -- only a little more than the median rent of $798 in 07302.

But the median household income there was $56,293 there, compared with $45,223 here.

If that differential has continued, I guess that explains why the selection of shops and restaurants is so much better in Cobble Hill than it is here . . .

Posted on: 2008/11/16 4:37
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Re: Bone Cancer, Chromium and
#8
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One thing I wonder is whether people who live downtown in brownstoneland are exposed to anything other than old lead paint.

Has anyone here know anyone who lives in Harsimus Cove brownstoneland ever actually gotten a chromium blood test, or tests for any other pollutant other than lead?

If so, what were the results?

Posted on: 2008/11/16 1:47
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Re: Nine units in Metropolis Towers up for IRS auction Nov. 13
#9
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Quote:

wibbit wrote:
and alb, i really dont understand what you are getting at.


Relative to what people here really earn, the condos and coops around here seem to be way overpriced.

Posted on: 2008/11/15 2:58
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Re: Nine units in Metropolis Towers up for IRS auction Nov. 13
#10
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Quote:

devbeep wrote:

Or, maybe, I think, you could look up some real numbers.

http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/results.php?location=22724


The Living Wage calculator has figures that are comparable to my guesstimes.

According to the Living Wage calculator, a typical single person living in Jersey City needs an annual income of about $24,000 per year. If that person pays half of after-tax income on housing, that person can spend about $884 per month on rent.

The Living Wage calculator suggests that the Metropolis Towers apartments probably cost about 2 times as much as someone here who's just making a living wage can afford.

I was strugling to say the apartments cost 2.5 times as much as I think people can really pay. So, my numbers are fairly close to the Living Wage numbers.

Another source of data to consider is the census data:

Here are some Jersey City census data.

I'm too tired to look up the median income per worker, but the median per household is about $47,000, so I think my estimate that a typical single person here might make about $30,000 is correct.

According to census figures, the median monthly housing cost for households that rent is about $800 per month. In other words, a studio at Metropolis Towers costs more than twice what a typical Jersey City household is paying for housing.

And, of course, Metropolis Towers is cheap for downtown.

I know downtown is different from the rest of the city, but I'm not sure incomes are really high enough to support the rents.

Posted on: 2008/11/14 6:07
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Re: Steve Fulop
#11
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Quote:

zderic wrote:
The HDCO is headed by Healy, so I don't see him getting the nod from the Dems.


Did anyone else see the Rev. Santora letter slamming Fulop in the Jersey Journal today?

Santora was defending Maio, the controversial housing official, and saying Fulop doesn't know about the history of what all has gone on.

At some level, maybe Santora is right, but I think Fulop really does try to listen to people. If Santora knows so much before, why didn't he make an effort to share his knowledge with Fulop?

I'm not sure whether Fulop knows every nuance of everything that goes on in Jersey City, but at least he's trying to clean up Jersey City politics. Or, even if he's faking it very well and is just pretending, at least he's pretending to do something good. The other members of the council don't even pretend to be trying to clean the city up.

I've always liked Santora's Jersey City religion articles, but now that I've seen today's letter, I feel as if I've been had and Santora is also part of The Machine.

Posted on: 2008/11/14 1:05
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Re: Nine units in Metropolis Towers up for IRS auction Nov. 13
#12
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Quote:

wibbit wrote:

you are looking at a netnet rent income of 10k a year for a studio. 150k puts it on the line as a 15 year return.


If the job market is weak, I think that, in most places, a young, single person with a moderately crummy job would be making about $30,000 year. I think someone like that without great job security ought to be paying less than 25% of income in rent, or about $625 per month, or $7,500 per year.

It seems to me that that's really quite a bit more than a studio costs in most of the country.

So, if the economy tanks, and the economy here becomes more like the economy in the rest of the economy, then maybe you need to pay just $75,000 to get your money back in 10 years.

On the other hand: if an investment holds half of its value over time, maybe that would be a good deal in a really rotten economy where all investments were doing poorly and inflation was running at 10 percent every year.

Posted on: 2008/11/14 0:54
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Re: Steve Fulop
#13
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Quote:

Brooklynboy wrote:
Dear JC Listers,

I have twice reached out to Councilman Fulop and both times I have received a response within 24 hours.


He is definitely extremely nice and extremely helpful. I think he fixes a lot of problems with the city just by helping people figure out how the city works.

If the Hudson County Democratic Organization were smart, it would let Fulop be mayor for one term, then work to help him become governor or get into Congress. That way, he would be in a position where he could spend more time with people who have a clue, and the machine could go back to do its machinely dirty work.

The harder and more effectively the machine works to bottle Fulop up, the more time he'll spend here holding the feet of the machinistas to the fire.

Posted on: 2008/11/12 18:48
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Re: Fulop says Housing Authority director should be stripped of position (over Montgomery Gardens)
#14
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Quote:

Lafayette wrote:
JCSHEP:
Everyone here assumes!! People assume that the projects have to come down but when you don't like what you read you back off.


One question would be what the ratio of diehard troublemakers is to ordinary residents.

It seems as if the city wants to knock down the homes of thousands of people to prevent crimes mostly committed by about, say, 20 rotten kids.

Why not lock the rotten kids up somewhere and let the rest of the residents keep their homes?

Posted on: 2008/11/12 18:38
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Re: Bergen Lafayette: Jersey City school bus operator booted by eminent domain, to clear way for par
#15
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Is this the big, mostly empty white concrete parcel near the Garfield light rail stop?

If so, it would be fine to build a small park there, but I think what would make more sense would be to build some kind of charter school/community building there.

Example: I know of a charter school that is considering moving to a building on Kennedy that is pretty far from the light rail. I think everyone without cars would be much better off if the school were moving some place by the Garfield or MLK light rail stop, and I think the merchants trying to operate small businesses by those stops would be much better off if there were big, recession-resistant public employers at those stops.

The MLK light rail stop area has been redeveloped very well, and a lot of the nearby residential blocks and the commercial blocks just north of that area on Monticello are gorgeous, but it looks as if it's hard even for a fast food restaurant to survive in that area.

Partly, it must be because of the open-air drug supermarkets, the gangs and the out-of-control projects and Section 8 buildings, but the area isn't really THAT out of control. It's not that much worse than downtown Jersey City was about 15 years ago. I think another problem is just there isn't a big enough presence of people in that neighborhood who can, say, pay $5 for lunch every day in the neighborhood. Even 15 years ago, Jersey City had some bank employees, Pershing building employees, etc. who could afford to go out to buy a cheap lunch a few times a week.

Posted on: 2008/11/10 17:49
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Re: Fulop says Housing Authority director should be stripped of position (over Montgomery Gardens)
#16
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Quote:

Charon wrote:
Anyone who knows Maria Maio knows she is a highly intelligent and committed public servant. The moves under way to subvert her are at the behest of hangers on from the corrupt Cunningham regime at JCHA as well as from craven politicians in the City (Fulop).


I think the secret about Fulop is that he means well but depends heavily on the information he is getting from people in the community. He's only as knowledgeable as the people talking to him are.

Whatever the guy's faults, he's definitely someone who wants to hear what knowledgeable people think and takes what they say seriously.

So, if you think Fulop is taking a dumb position, and you think you have first-hand information about what the situation is, try e-mailing him directly and setting him straight. You might have more influence over his position than you think.

Posted on: 2008/11/10 17:41
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Re: Can anyone in local goverment hold thier drink (Lipski this time)?
#17
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Quote:

Trubrit wrote:
Lipski's antics are nothing new.

I've been pissed on by Jersey City Democrats for 15 years.


What is a little bit sad about this is that it seems as if Lipski might be one of the more responsive city councilors other than Fulop.

I think Fulop is a great guy, but I just don't think I understand Jersey City enough to know whether his pure pure pure strategy makes political or practical governance sense. One possibility is that maybe a bright city council member with a good, honest heart could get more important, good things done if he flattered the old fossils more and figured out ways to let them have their pork barrel and improve trash clinic, the police department, etc. at the same time.

And I don't know if that thought is realistic or not. But to me there's a question about whether someone like Lipski or Vega might actually be doing a lot more practical good for the people of Jersey City than a guy like Fulop who makes a point of confronting the fossils whenever possible.

But then, when Lipski goes out and whizzes on people, that tends to support the Fulop argument that the Jersey City fossils are so corrupt that trying to do business with them is mostly pointless, or maybe counterproductive.

Posted on: 2008/11/10 17:32
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Re: ox restaurant
#18
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Quote:

moxiebaby wrote:
The appetizer was incredibly tender. I thought the mac + cheese would've been more decadent


Maybe the mac and cheese is aimed at kids.

To me, the decadent Marco and Pepe mac and cheese is wonderful, but small children tend to want their mac and cheese pretty plain.

Posted on: 2008/11/8 4:36
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Re: Is the rental market downtown crazy slow?
#19
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
It is always true that November through March is always the slowest rental time of the year -- But Alb, I just looked on Craigslist and the ONLY 2 Bedroom for rent at Grove Pointe on the whole site is $3200 per month.

Quote:

alb wrote:
...I saw a flier for a 2-bedroom apartment in Grove Pointe for something like $2,600 per month...


Maybe I'm misremembering. The flier I saw was in the window of the real estate agency right by the McDonald's.

Posted on: 2008/11/8 4:12
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Re: Is the rental market downtown crazy slow?
#20
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Idea: put "real fresh apartment, not old spam" in subject line, so people know it's not a spam fake. Maybe people are burning out because of the spam.

Also: I saw a flier for a 2-bedroom apartment in Grove Pointe for something like $2,600 per month. Maybe the renter is rich and doesn't need to get a whole lot, and maybe the unit is a crummy unit, but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

If the number of ads for cheap units has dropped, that could be because demand is strong, but it could be that the brokers can't afford to advertise them as well, or that brokers are marketing them through some Web site other than Craigslist that people here aren't mentioning.

Example: I haven't looked that hard at Google ads lately, but does it have apartment ads on there somewhere.

Posted on: 2008/11/7 0:55
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Re: Bus shelter suggestions
#21
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a) Possible shelter location, if there's enough sidewalk space: Jersey Avenue and Newark Avenue.

b) Other bus stop issue: As DanL said, having bus maps and schedules at each stop is critical. The main reason buses are not as busy as, say, the light rail is that it's so hard to figure out when a bus is going to stop or where it will go.

c) I think it's critical that NJT and Jersey City improve the routes connecting the Lincoln Park/Kennedy Boulevard area with downtown Jersey City. It seems as if real estate prices are very low in Lincoln Park, even when compared with the Jersey City Heights, simply because it's a pain in the neck to get between there and the waterfront, and really, really awful to try to get between there and Hoboken.

If, say, NJT would create a free or cheap shuttle connecting the Lincoln Park area with the Martin Luther King light rail stop, maybe that would help real estate prices in the Lincoln Park area, reduce competition for parking in the Lincoln Park area, create the opportunity for someone to start a (very carefully monitored) pay parking lot near the MLK light rail stop, and generate extra business for MLK merchants.

Posted on: 2008/10/27 3:29
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Re: incident at Dunkin Donuts
#22
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Quote:

victoria wrote:
it's funny to me that no one has responded to my posting about the hate crime. I'm NOT kidding, someone wrote "jew" in big, red, drippy letters all over my neighbors brownstone!


First, for what it's worth, I'm Jewish. I would rather not see anti-Semitic graffiti all over town.

Second, I'm not a huge stickler for keeping threads on topic, but you should really put the item about the anti-Semitic graffiti in a separate thread. Maybe some people didn't respond to you because your response was simply off-topic.

Third, you were really tough on Amy. Different people here are reading her original comment in different ways, but maybe some people are more inclined to help someone who is at least trying to write in a thoughtful, nonconfrontational way than to help someone who seems to intentionally be on the attack.

Fourth, even though the incident you wrote about is an actual crime and not just an ambiguous encounter, Amy was personally involved in the incident she described. You were just a witness to something that had already happened. So, her account has more of an emotional zing to it than hers does.

Posted on: 2008/10/23 17:20
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Re: Wayne Street Issues
#23
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Quote:

icechute wrote:

Having lived around here for 20 years, I still maintain that if any site ever needed a luxury condo building, it's that "park".


I think that street actually needs the playground.

I once let my child play there. The playground equipment was in good repair, and there were a bunch of kids there having a good time. So, there's nothing wrong with a playground being there. The problem is that it's not zoned for a retail shop, and some guys have chosen to operate a retail shop there.

Too bad they can't just pretend to be selling sandwiches or something and open in one of the empty storefronts on Jersey Avenue, instead of taking up park space.

Posted on: 2008/10/20 16:14
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Re: Monthly Home Sales for Downtown Jersey City
#24
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Quote:

misterdude wrote:
Quote:
JC_Man wrote:
Anything for September?? Curious to see how things held up.


Like my 401K, I'm afraid to know right now.


I think that it's really a mistake to take September numbers too seriously.

The economy is probably pretty awful, but I don't think it's THAT awful.

I know that I was very tight with my own money during the last half of September but have loosened up a bit this past week.

If other people are like me, October could look better for retailers than September looked, and maybe the housing market will lag a bit and look a lot better in November than it did in either September or October.

Posted on: 2008/10/16 21:35
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Re: Bergen Lafayette: Shot in chest on King Drive
#25
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Quote:

NewHeights wrote:

you sound like a very unstable person. shooting yourself by accident?


Look at the stats for the western states, where many people presumably take NRA gun safety classes. It's possible that those people use guns to prevent crime as well as to hunt, but they also use the guns to kill themselves, spouses, etc., and the children use the guns as toys.

If a rising gang crime rate in Jersey City would lead emotionally stable, safety-conscious people who will religiously keep guns away from children to buy guns and blow off the heads of these gang members, maybe the guns would do some good.

The problem is that, in the real world, some of the guns may be used to threaten or off gang members, but many will be used stupidly by people who should not own guns in the first place.

You would disagree with this argument because you're very pro-gun. That's fine; I'm not trying to persuade you.

We know, however, that Comey and Healy are, at the very least, against the idea of untrained, potentially unstable vigilantes going around with handguns.

If they want to keep the number of unqualified civilians who are waving handguns around low, the best way is for them to do something about the obvious gang and open-air drug supermarket problems.

Posted on: 2008/10/16 21:32
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Re: Bergen Lafayette: Shot in chest on King Drive
#26
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I think the obvious reality is that the JCPD has no influence over the people involved with this incident, and the gangs do.

If the JCPD folks want witnesses to come forward in cases such as this, then they have to show they have the intelligence and moxie to take on the gangs.

If the JCPD folks don't start taking on the gangs, then even people like me who are uncomfortable about the idea of owning a gun will go buy guns. Then we'll start shooting ourselves by accident and people who tick us off on purpose, along with getting an occasional perp through blind luck, and then things will really go to heck.

Posted on: 2008/10/16 18:10
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Re: Jersey City's police chief: (Bergen Lafayette) is not a 'war zone'
#27
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Quote:

JCSHEP wrote:
Blaming the police or town for ?a lack of services? is a bit misguided in my opinion.


When people here complain about the police not being there to stop a mugging downtown, OK, that might not be all that fair.

But, in the case of Bergen-Lafayette, we're talking about open-air supermarkets that seem to be about as obvious and as well-established as the Jersey Avenue C Town.

It seems as if the freezer inspectors go after the C Town owners way more often than the police go after the open air supermarket managers.

If Jersey City were a giant, completely out of control city, maybe that would explain why the city doesn't even bother to harass the open-air drug supermarkets in a noticeable way. But Jersey City isn't really that out of control. Maybe there are, say, a few dozen substantial, persistent open-air drug supermarkets.

If the police would try to make arrests at two or three open-air drug supermarkets every evening, OK, sure, dozens of other supermarkets would still be operating, and many of the dealers would get off on technicalities. But maybe some of the dealers would spend some time in prison, and maybe some dealers would decide to go operate somewhere else.

Posted on: 2008/10/16 14:16
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Re: Barack Obama for President
#28
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Quote:

misterdude wrote:
Resized Image

Khaaan!!!!!!!


I was thinking of trying to come up with a Michelle Obama joke, but, come to think of it, I guess I cast McCain as Kirk, and the truth is that Sarah Palin looks a little like the crew member chick who ended up marrying Khan.

Posted on: 2008/10/16 4:54
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Re: Barack Obama for President
#29
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Quote:
Br6dR wrote: But they're trying to paint him as the alternate universe Spock. Bullsh*t! (Though even that Spock was kind of cool.)
"But if I should lose by a hanging chad in Florida, or Ohio, I suggest that you remember that my operatives will avenge my loss. And some of THEM are Chicagoans . . . "

Posted on: 2008/10/16 4:51
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Re: Jersey City's police chief: (Bergen Lafayette) is not a 'war zone'
#30
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I think what's really shocking about parts of Bergen-Lafayette and Greenville is how openly out of control the area feels.

It seems to me as if most of the people who live there are as polite and law-abiding as the people who live anywhere else in the city. But you folk 10 feet at night and, bam, there's an open-air drug takeout and delivery service, or a bunch of completely drunken guys sitting around staring angrily at passersby.

My roommate says it's probably safer for the people involved with these activities if they do all of this outside, rather than inside. So, maybe, if the police can't shut all of this down, letting it happen outside is a necessary evil. But my sense is that the general quality of life in the neighborhood would be better for law-abiding people if, at the very least, the criminal enterprises were operating inside a warehouse some place, rather than out on the sidewalk.

Posted on: 2008/10/15 14:12
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